Expediting tornado claims. Best practices for mitigating risks pre and post loss.
In order to be truly prepared after a natural disaster contact Childress Loucks & Plunkett immediately following the event of loss. We are an independent, unbiased ally when disaster strikes. We are not adjusters! We are insurance experts (as well as attorneys) who investigate and manage your claim from the event of loss to final settlement and help you the policyholder achieve the maximum recovery amount from your insurer as promised to you in your policy.
–Take photos and video of the damage and store them in a safe and accessible place. Many suggest taking smart phone photos and videos post loss and emailing them to yourself in order to ensure that you have documented proof of the post disaster damage. Photos can assist the adjuster and insurer as they assess the claim. They can also, and more importantly, be used in the event of litigation or settlement negotiations regarding your claim if the insurer denies coverage. Compile as many photos, notes and information about the event/loss as possible as it can be difficult to recall information regarding the event later on. Building and maintaining a file on your loss will only make things smoother and faster as you proceed with your claim and perhaps work with a 3rd party or attorneys on claim resolution.
–Gather any historical bank and credit card statements reflecting work done to your damaged building in the past. These will be helpful for the adjuster to determine the value of your damaged property pre-loss. It is best to gather a file as such prior to a loss event. Mitigating your risks pre-loss help you immensely when bringing your claim to resolution post loss.
–If you make temporary repairs, save all of your receipts/work orders for any work done to the damaged property post-loss. We do not advise doing repairs yourself, however some temporary repairs such as board ups are needed to ensure no further damage is sustained. You should always consult professionals regarding storm damage as you do not want to risk becoming liable due to faulty construction or temporary repairs. Also, if the damaged building becomes inhabitable, keep all receipts for hotels, meals, and other living expenses, as many times these costs are covered under your policy as well.
–Your adjuster will coordinate with the insurer and any 3rd party rep regarding an inspection and subsequent damage estimate. Typically both the insurer and the claimant arrange for and produce damage estimates due to conflict regarding damage totals. In this way there are two different opinions on the amount of damage and the cost of repairs and replacements.
Dealing with your insurer post loss can easily become drawn out and complicated. Even the most prepared and knowledgeable claimants have been known to breakdown and give up the fight for recovery due to the insurance company tactics of delay, deny, defend. Having the insurance experts at Childress Loucks & Plunkett backing you up along the way gives you the leverage you need to recover, while simultaneously freeing you the policyholder of extra stress and obligations at a time when you need support the most. In many cases, a claimants whole life and/or business is swept away from them in an instant by a tornado or other natural disaster, leaving them vulnerable and fearful of the next step towards recovery. Wouldn’t you want to know that an un-biased team of insurance industry experts is at your back during the entire claims process? We make sure that you get the recovery you deserve post-loss and work with our clients pre-loss to mitigate risks and insure you against your insurance.